AWS customer support is incredible! Here's why...

I'm delivering a workshop at Strata / Hadoop World in NYC tomorrow, and so far about ~60 people have registered. Although I'm optimistic that every single person will come prepared with their development environment properly configured per my nudges at http://strataconf.com/stratany2013/public/schedule/detail/30863, everyone's development environments may become "corrupted" at the last minute due to solar flares, or another ~60 people may register at the last minute. (Anything is possible, right?)

So, knowing that in order to make the most of our time together tomorrow, I want to have pre-configured development environments on hand that I can dole out as simply as giving someone an IP address and password to access the machine. After all, the only thing simpler than following the instructions in the MTSW Quick Start guide would be to just access the VM as a hosted service, right? (I'll blog more about how to do this later this week since I imagine it will be helpful to some folks.)

I'm already able to launch Mining the Social Web VMs in the cloud because Vagrant offers an AWS plugin, which pretty much trivializes the whole endeavor, but my account didn't have 60 instances of extra capacity in my account, so I filed a ticket with AWS asking for an increase. The ticket response promised that someone would contact me within 24 hours, but it told me that I could click the button to have AWS customer service contact me right away if my case was urgent. Given that I have less than 24 hours before the workshop, I thought it was worth a shot to see if they'd really call me and give me the instances.

Well, not even 2 minutes later, "Marissa J." called me, approved my request with no further questions asked, and provided me with the 60 instances that I need to ensure that my workshop is a success even if solar flares corrupt everyone's development environments or tons of people come in at the last minute and didn't have time to prepare.

It may sound all too trivial, but the ability for a company as big as Amazon to call me on request and give me exactly what I wanted within mere moments was pretty impressive

Thanks Amazon!
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